West Head is a fisherman’s harbor and home to the busiest Canadian Coast Guard Station in all of eastern Canada. It is another harbor protected by a breakwater with only a few floating docks that all had fishing boats tied to them at least 2 abreast. It was our first experience tying our lines off to the top of a breakwater which was interesting. Tim very expertly docked the boat in the available slip so all I simply had to do was step off the deck and climb a ladder to the top of the break water. Tim tossed me the bow and stern line and then set the lines so we wouldn’t have to adjust them as the tide dropped.
There is not much to see in West Head and there are no stores nearby to re-provision but it was calm.
The weather for the next several days was not forecasted to have the wind in our favor to round Cape Sable Island but we timed the tide as best we could. It was quite a bumpy ride but compared to what the conditions can be around Cape Sable Island - we had it relatively easy. Rounding the southern point of Cape Sable Island can be very tricky. This area of water is called the “Cape Horn of Nova Scotia” or the “Grave Yard of Nova Scotia.” It is shallow, there are tidal currents, ocean swells and wind which with the wrong combination of these factors can make it a hellish and dangerous passage.
Big Island is actually a fairly little island but it is perfect place for a lobster bake. It has a nice beach on both sides. Located in the narrowest section of the island is a cute little shack with a front porch that the owners make available to island visitors. Tim and I enjoyed a nice little cocktail hour just in front of the shack. The only company we had were a couple of nesting ospreys and some noisy seals that rested on the rocks just of the shore. Shamus was absolutely fascinated with the seals (a.k.a sea dogs)! He really wanted to meet them!
On June 5, we pulled into Shelburne Harbor. We transited to Shelburne in thick fog but it was otherwise uneventful. Shelburne is a very historical little town. It was a “loyalist” community and all of the houses and buildings we gaze upon from our mooring are from the 17 and 1800’s.
We can’t say enough about the Shelburne Harbor Yacht Club. It is a wonderful facility and the staff and members are very welcoming. They had their first Thursday night sailboat race scheduled to start a few hours after we arrived. We helped the crews prepare for their race with a few beers and some burgers upstairs at the yacht club’s bar! Several more members showed up during and after the race and we had a super time meeting them all. So when they invited us to the clubs dinner the following night we gladly accepted. We had even more fun the next evening. They are really super people. We received offers to let us stay in their houses, or borrow their cars, and even one person thought we would be a great addition to the Shelburne community and told us we needed to buy some real estate locally and join the club!
We had the pleasure of meeting Bradd and Maeve Wilson. During our initial conversation they mentioned they had lived aboard for several years and run their business from the boat. It turns out their business is Cruising Solutions, www.cruisingsolutions.com. I have referred to their website a few times and it was their article on cruising to Newfoundland that has made me want to visit there so much. They offered, and we accepted the use of their car to re-provision as needed. It was a kind gesture and we really appreciated their help. Thank you Bradd and Maeve.
We will be leaving Shelburne tomorrow morning but have not yet decided where we will end up! We are living true to our “plan to have no plan!”